Interview with Bernadette Pinkard, Passion Parties consultant
When Bernadette complete her work in the Air Force, she found Passion Parties three years ago in 2007 to make her living. She has not other prior direct sales experience.
Greg: Bernadette, you told me you are in a re-building phase of your business. I am sure a lot of people can relate to this since the economy is not recovering yet. Please share your experiences that led to where you are now.
Bernadette: In the last year, about 1/3 of my team dropped off and my personal sales declined. The interest in joining the business actually increased; but a lack of funds led to fewer sign-ups. As for the sales, my number of parties and the number of guests attending the parties remained about the same. But, the percentage of people at the party making a purchase, as well as the average sale total declined.
My rebuilding strategy includes increasing the number of people I recruit monthly/yearly. I’ve implemented an innovative plan to make it more affordable for those interested in joining, by offering ways to earn a kit for FREE.
Greg: Can a person make a living in your business online only? Are home parties a necessary ingredient to success?
Bernadette: I believe home parties are a necessary ingredient to success, because everything happens at the party. During the party you really establish a connection with the guests; leading to more parties and higher recruitment. Also, individual sales are usually higher at the party; because they get to see, feel and touch the products.
Greg: How do you find people who agree to have a home party at their house?
Bernadette: I would estimate that 90% of my parties are booked at the party or from referrals. I usually book 2 or more parties from each party I hold. Also, living in the wedding capital (Las Vegas) has really helped my business with bachelorette parties. These women find me online and call to book a party.
Greg: Do you do fairs and events?
Bernadette: Yes. I usually do two bridal fairs a year and I vendor events throughout the year. I have booked parties at these events and it’s another opportunity to promote my business.
Greg: Do you blog or use Facebook to promote your business?
Bernadette: Actually, I do both. I send out a blog through my Merchant Circle page and I recently added my Passion Parties by Bernadette fan page on Facebook. I use my fan page to talk about new products, give discounts and recognition for team members.
Greg: Do you advertise offline? If so, please share some of those methods.
Bernadette: Currently, I only advertise in one local magazine.
In the past, I’ve advertised in a couple of Bridal magazines, but it wasn’t really cost-effective. Since, today’s brides rely more on the internet to find vendors; I advertise on the online wedding sites.
Greg: Demographics of your customer? Age? Any men?
Bernadette: We specialize in-home parties for women, so the majority of my customers are women. The average age of the women at my parties is between 30 to late 40s. But that really depends on the type of party. Most of my bachelorette parties are for the younger crowd, 18 to late 20s.
Greg: Do you know any men who are Passion Party consultants?
Bernadette: Yes. I do have male customers. Some are guys I know. Others I meet at vendor events or they find my website online. Also, when I do parties at the hotels, I usually valet my car and they always ask for a card. The male consultants do really well, because they offer a different perspective. At the parties, the women are usually making purchases for their male partners or to use as a couple. I’ve had several guys contact me about becoming a consultant; I’m looking forward to signing up a male consultant.
Greg: What is your favorite thing about working from home?
Bernadette: I love the flexibility of my schedule, because it allows me more time with my family.
Greg: Do you have any important tips for someone who wants to start a work at home business?
Bernadette: There are a lot of home businesses, do your research. Find something you’re truly passionate about and be willing to challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone.
Greg: What key quality is critical especially for working with clients?
Bernadette: I feel the most critical key quality is customer satisfaction. Focus on their needs and not just on making a sale. This also helps with referrals, because word of mouth is the best advertising.
Greg: What do you think the biggest mistake people make when starting their work at home business or when looking for work to do at home?
Bernadette: I believe the most common mistake is effective time management. Set routine, regular work hours and limit personal calls and other distractions and give it your all.
Greg: What is one word of advice you would give someone looking to work at home or to start their own work at home business?
Bernadette: Patience. It’s not a get-rich scheme; it takes time to establish a customer base to build a profitable home business.
Greg: What are some other tips that you might give to someone who wants to start working from home?
Bernadette: Be clear about what you’re trying to achieve by setting goals. Know what you’re working towards; so you’re taking the necessary steps to reach that ultimate goal. Also, keep in close contact with your sponsor and upline, they are there to assist you.
Thank you, Bernadette, for your time and thoughtful answers.
Passion Parties® Independent Consultant
“Passion Parties – The place to be!”
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Phone: (702) 239-8171